Cayman Islands cuts red tape for businesses

Pedro Gonçalves
clock • 2 min read

The business community in the Cayman Islands will now have it a bit easier  as the government cuts through the red tape in order to simplify and streamline the application process for trade and business licenses. The implementation of amendments to the Trade and Business Licensing Law have now come into effect.

The amendments, first announced earlier this year, include the ability of the Trade and Business Licensing Board to access, with an applicant’s consent, company documents relevant to the application that had been filed with other government entities.

The changes mostly impact Caymanians and permanent residents, who are no longer required to submit a police clearance if they have lived on island for more than five years and their company is not in a category relating to  specialist areas where they are still needed. These exceptions include child care, dance classes, after-school classes, preschool, baby-sitting, summer programs, elderly care, money lending, accounting, and wellness services specific to children.

Caymanian applicants will not be required to submit a bank reference or current utility bill with their application, though non-Caymanian applicants will still need to provide this information. Cabinet now has the power to make regulations that exempt certain applicants or categories of applicants from any or all provisions under the Law.

Applications for renewals will also be able to self-validate their health insurance and pension information on the application form, with first-time applicants not being required to provide these details.

Joey Hew, Commerce minister of the Cayman Islands, said in a statement: “Creating a strong economy to help families and businesses is a major priority outlined by the unity government” . He added: “One of the key tasks needed to do that was to remove the unnecessary regulation and bureaucracy for small businesses. These amendments to the application for a Trade and Business Licence do that. We’ve now eased some of the burden on business owners and enable the ministry to push forward with other initiatives that will help to make it easier to do business in the Cayman Islands.”

Other measures to cut red tape are that cover letters, business plans, strata approvals and character references are no longer needed for a license application.